Friday, 26 January 2018

Wilder Penfield

A Google Doodle we didn’t get here: the 127th birthday of Wilder Penfield, Canadian immigrant neurosurgeon, famous for this work on mapping the brain and its sensory functions.

His method for treating epileptic seizure was made into a short film that kicked off “I smell burnt toast!” as shorthand for oncoming brain trauma and a fairly standard joke about the subject - I used it myself a couple weeks ago, because I did actually smell burning.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

North Korea as a setting

Tim Knight challenged me thus:
I challenge you to come up with a modern Doctor Who scenario set in North Korea ... that doesn't feature Tr*mp or some 'twist' like Kim Jong-un is a slitheen ;-)

I think Team America: World Police pretty much covered that twist. :D

For North Korea specifically, the Doctor would normally find a pretext to overthrow a dictatorship or unite a divided people, but since we can’t just do that in real life...

Kim Jong-il went after advanced technologies, which makes for obvious “unscrupulous people try to exploit aliens and/or dangerously unfamiliar technology” stories, but those are indeed obvious.

My usual trick here is looking up local history and mythology - which in this case led me to discover a South Korean hit TV show with Train To Busan star Gong Yoo playing an immortal protector sometimes called the Great And Lonely God. So if you want a Korean version of the Doctor that’s an option too!

Let’s focus on something at ground level, with relatable people on all levels.

The Iron Eater
Miners going deep in the North Korean mountains find their equipment breaking down, apparently corroding overnight. The overseer cracks down to increase productivity - himself worried about the response from the capital if the mine’s quotas fall too far behind. A veteran miner old enough to know the old myths of monsters refers to Bulgasari, a monster who eats iron - and in exchange it fights nightmares.

Is an old, forgotten bargain still in effect? Can the travellers and the miners find a way to communicate with the creature and find out why it’s sabotaging the dig before the central authorities move in? And is there something worse waiting in the depths?

(The creature also appears in a film Kim Jong-il had made by kidnapped South Korean director Shin Sang-ok.)

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Is it dusty in here?

A young fan’s father shares Peter Capaldi’s letter to his son about regeneration, loss and renewal.

Well done, Doctor.

(And, amazingly, some nice things in the comments too, like a memory of meeting Tom Baker out riding.)

Friday, 15 December 2017

More Doctors Heading Into The Vortex

Tim Knight flagged up the following news: Doctor miniatures selling in packs of three, somewhat oddly distributed - 1, 4, 10 and 5, 11, 12. Nice new 12, certainly.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Paul Cornell's Twelve Blogs Of Christmas

Starting today with the announcement that he and Liz Myles are launching Hammer House of Podcast, in which they plan to talk about every Hammer horror film of the classic run.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Trips not taken

I had heard of most of these unmade modern Doctor Who episodes, as they came from the Davies era and were discussed in The Writer’s Tale. Indeed, I’ve swiped a couple as adventure ideas. And the near-miss 50th anniversary special is pretty well known too. But the idea of a prequel to Sleep No More was news to me.